Sunday, June 08, 2014

Kick start

Now where did I leave off? I think I'd started my exercise regime. Spring seems to be my time. I'm happy to report that I've been keeping it up. I'm doing the walk/jog routine three times a week. On the other days, I walk or take a short bike ride. I did skip one morning this week, but that day I did all my PT exercies along with a routine of push-ups and sit-ups. I haven't seen tremendous results yet, but I think it is helping. I'm in a good mood and I'm pleased with my consistency. I am still pretty tired each day at work but that should pass if I keep it up. I think I will do well with this through November or whenever we change to standard time. The cold isn't what I find hard to deal with--it's the dark. But if I can keep going trhough November, then I can take a little break over December and probably be no worse for wear. We'll see. I wonder if planning for time off is the way to make my routine a real, permanent aspect of my life, rather than a big push every other year. And then, what happens if I ever get a boyfriend? How will that work? Best not to worry about it--that bridge is a long way off if I ever do cross it. I will keep my intent to stay active. A bit every day, no matter what. It can be a walk, a jog, a bike ride, a hike--whatever.

What else? Boys, dates. Yes, I've had a few. I am keeping track. I made a list and I record all my first dates. Is it a sad state of affairs that pretty much the only dates I have these days are with dudes I meet online? Is that just how it works now? I do things--group bike rides, volunteer activities--but I don't meet single guys. I do talk to people and maybe I'll make friends eventually, which would be great, but these activities have never yielded dates. Even when I did the recreational sports back in the day, through which I did make some friends, I think I only ever dated one person I met that way. I did get some hopeless crushes, so that's something? Yes? No? I don't know.

I'm pretty sure I'm reasonably attractive and all that. I'm feeling impatient about the whole thing. I want to get this settled. I want to have a regular sex life. I want a partner. I'm tired of cooking for myself. I'm tired of struggling to find people to socialize with every weekend. It's so easy for me to just relax into being alone. Is it dangerous? Is it a trap? A much as I'd like a steady boyfriend, I also wish I had a steady friend to hang out with. Someone I could pretty much assume I was going to do something with every week. I have friends, but I don't have that core friendship that plays out into the backbone of a social life. Missing those two things, I might be really unhappy, but I'm not. I reasonably content, but there is an undercurrent of dissatisfaction in my life. Maybe it's because some of the people I'm closest to live far away (Seattle, Israel, England, Nashville...and other spots!). Maybe it's because I'm not making enough of an effort to reach out to the good friends I have nearby (lazy!). And it is because I want those connections to play a bigger part in my life and right now, they don't. I figure they will again and in the meantime, I have to just keep taking care of myself and get out of the house regularly.

Maybe this is due to my long period of unhappiness at my old job. The haze from that mess is still lifting. The pain is less intense. The only regret I have is staying as long as I did. I am getting used to the new job, I'm learning how to pace myself and not feel overworked. And, finally, I'm starting to enjoy it a bit. I think that's why I'm pretty content despite my not-so-active social life. It could be so much worse. It has been worse. And it's getting better. That feeling goes a long way to making up for not having a best buddy to see every week or even a boyfriend. It could be so much worse.

Grateful for: the new regime.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Life cycle

Other than my dissatisfying dating adventures, I have also been trying to pick up my cycling. I had visions of biking to work when I got my new job, but given the state of my fitness (mediocre) and the lack of convenient shower/changing facilities, I haven't managed it yet. I am taking at least one 15-mile or so ride on Saturday and usually riding at least five miles on Sunday...but that's not really doing it. I suppose it's better than nothing, but I'm so knocked out after my long rides that I know I have a long way to go.  I'm still doing my PT exercises at home and some push-ups and sit-ups, so I'm keeping up a little strength, but my stamina is low.

I want to start walking/jogging again in the mornings. I wake up early enough for this but I have a monstrously difficult time getting myself out of bed before 7am.  Today, I didn't manage that, but I still went ahead and took a nice half-hour walk starting around 7:15. When I got home, I did a few PT exercises, took a shower, and I still could've gotten to the office by 9:30, if only I hadn't started a whole project thing on my computer when I should've been heading for the door. Maybe tomorrow I'll do better.

For my longer bike rides, I've been joining low-pressure organized rides and it's ok. I am often the slowest person, but what can I do? It's vaguely social, which is part of the point. I don't usually have any of those silly dates on the weekend, and my social activities seem kind of thin these days. Not complaining but I can easily spend the whole weekend with minimal social interactions. This seems...unhealthy. So, I pick a bike ride for both the exercise, challenge, and necessity of talking to other humans.

The ride last weekend was quite fun until nearly the end when things started to drag and I realized that I had to hustle to make my next event. (Yes--a social event on a Saturday--it does happen!). The ride was sponsored by the DC Public Library and, in fact, this was the 5th Annual Tour de DCPL.  It was a 14-mile ride and we went from library to library, stopping and taking a look inside most of them. Some stops even had snacks. I was surprised by how much joy I experienced in those libraries. I do love the library, though I rarely visit these days.  Anyway, it was good fun. A bit slow placed (I was never left behind), but with a few hills for a bit of a challenge. I'd say we had maybe 30 riders, which was just about enough for my taste. Those larger fun/social rides make me a bit claustrophobic, which ends up outweighing the social benefit.

Anyway...below, a few pics of the ride!





Grateful for: being physically able again.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The end

Dear reader, I hope I haven't left you in suspense. The story of R, at least for me, has come to an end. After I saw him in the hospital, I continued my practice of sending him one text a day, but for two days he didn't respond. On the third day, he did and the message was that he didn't want to see me anymore. We met at a tumultuous time in his life and he wanted to keep things as simple as possible. He appreciated the help and support, but he was done.

As I've said all along, I had doubts about building an actual romantic-type relationship with R. Our early issues would've been hard to overcome. But I was stunned at his rejection of my friendship--which I'd stated quite clearly was all I expected. Heck, all I wanted was for him to let me help a little. Well, he didn't even want that. I wrote back a long text--and then asked him to at least let me know when he got home. A few days later he sent me a message saying he was home. That's it. I won't contact him again and I guess I won't be hearing from him again either.  The end of one of the most bizarre non-relationships of my life. And that's saying something.

Since I got the old heave-ho, I started dating up a storm. I guess having R and his troubles in the back of my mind was making it a little harder to put myself out there. I've been on three dates in 9 days. What the heck is going on with me? Nothing happened to speak of on these dates beyond decent conversation (a pleasant surprise) and a whole lot of nerves on my behalf (typical). The last date was the most remarkable.

I met this fellow for a drink and we talked for maybe an hour. He walked me home...just a few blocks from the bar, and I invited him in. I was full of nerves, per usual, and I didn't really have anything in mind. I liked his looks and his manner, but I wasn't even sure if I wanted to kiss him, though I was a little more sure than with the previous two guys. We had a little push and pull on the kissing, but I thought it might happen eventually. I went to the bathroom and when I got back he was standing at the door waiting to leave. I was quite astonished. And then I was amused. He sort of shifted back and forth on his feet and muttered about not being ready and said he hoped I didn't hate him. Of course not!  I let him out and we hugged and he gave me a brief peck on the lips. When he got home he texted me and said he wish he'd stayed. I just...I mean, how is this anything but comical? Will I ever see him again? I have no idea. I'm giving him a wide berth in the meantime.  I haven't really learned my lesson about impatience, but with someone this skittish I have to figure that texting him a lot will not help anything.

I talked to a friend about what happened this afternoon and he dubbed my runaway date as "Mr. Confused." Is that a good name? We'll see. At least this time I know it's not me, it's HIM. A thousand times him.

Grateful for: getting back out there.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Why can't we be friends?

Today, I finally visited R in the hospital.  The reactions to this are funny--a lot of friends said it was nice and thoughtful of me. I mean, sure it's nice, but of course--of course I went to visit. He's in the hospital. You visit.  What's confusing is...we're practically strangers.  He's not my friend, he's not my boyfriend. For a moment, I thought he would be my boyfriend, then he withdrew and I freaked out. We were talking and maybe we would've reconnected--but I honestly don't know. Lots of things about him were attractive, but several things weren't. We were still getting to know each other and then BAM, his whole life was thrown for a complete loop. So, you know, confusing. At least for me. I imagine I'm not the first thing on his mind.

Anyway, we were staying in touch as I mentioned in the last post.  On Wednesday he sent me a long text with some details about his condition--they finally had an accurate diagnosis and were starting appropriate treatments. I can't tell you how relieved I was--almost elated.  The next day, he told me he had permission to eat outside food and I said that he had to let me bring him something to eat. Later that same day, he suggested that I come for lunch on Sunday and requested a turkey sandwich.  I went all over the place to get the ingredients--I was going to make the best turkey sandwich lunch ever. Bread, apples, and lettuce from the farmer's market; cold cuts from the Italian deli; and soda, chips, and tomatoes from the Giant.  Yes, I did feel a bit like a crazy person for making such a production out of a turkey sandwich, but what can I do? I am a crazy person.

The visit went fine. At first it was the awkwardness of seeing any friend in the hospital. It was that way when I visited my old boss after he had a terrible accident...when I saw Pele after she had her baby. Your friends, slightly undressed, exposed, drugged, not at their best.  You look away to avoid seeing things you have no business seeing. You don't listen when doctors and nurses ask questions.  In this case, I talked about nothing (work) but didn't try and finish stories. We walked outside to eat lunch--and it was the first time R had been out of doors since he got to the hospital. The weather was lovely; not too warm and a slight breeze blowing. R ate the whole sandwich, a few chips, and drank the soda.  I found out he has a friend coming to help out, and his brother would be back later this week.  I volunteered to help the helpers. Offered to come visit again. Nothing was decided. We took a short walk and I saw R was flagging. We went back to his room, I said I would take off and let him get some rest. I asked if I could give him a hug--he agreed. We hadn't touched at all until then--but it was good. As I was leaving I said, "so awkward" and he agreed. How could he not?

When I left the building, I felt a bit overwhelmed. I wanted to cry. I have been struggling with this feeling about R--like it's not right that I should care. That it's selfish. Is that crazy? Wait--don't answer. Apparently, it's ok to care. I just don't want to make this about me--it's not me who is suffering, drugged, stuck in a hospital for weeks. It's not me...but it is someone I know and it feels bad.  I am glad I saw him. I want to be a friend and I'm glad he is letting me. I know it's hard to let people help, and I hope he lets me do more. At the very least, he could get another delicious turkey sandwich.

Grateful for: friends--especially those have listened to all the crazy iterations of this story.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Try, try, try

A lot has happened since I last wrote. And nothing. First the obligatory work talk.I know I do this when I'm avoiding talking about something a little more sensitive. I continue to struggle to manage the staff on my project. My data analyst couldn't meet her deadline and instead of being clear and up front, she stayed at home and avoided me for two days. Then she blamed my temper for staying home. I have worked so hard to stay calm at work that it's a real slap in the face to hear that she can feel justified using my emotions as a pretext for her actions. Even if it's true, her actions are still problematic. She didn't have permisson to work at home. I also specifically asked her to come in so I could review her work. Since she did tell me she couldn't finish by her Friday deadline, I needed time to review what she'd done so I could finish it out. I told her that I wanted to go over things on Thursday so that I would have time to ask her questions on Friday. Since she's gone the following week, Friday was the last chance for us to do the review. She didn't come in until Friday--and only then because I scheduled a meeting. We met at 9:30 and it went well. Our big manager was there. She let us know that the analyst had all day to work on the project. Around 1pm I discovered an error in her work and talked to her about it. Around 5:45pm I checked in again and asked what progress she made.

That's when I found out that she hadn't done any work on my project at all. She had another project that was more important--and despite the instruction of our manager--she spent most of the day until around 4 or 4:30pm working on that. And by the time I talked her she had maybe spent an hour on my project. I kind of lost it. I definitely had a "tone" in my voice as I asked her why she hadn't worked on my project when our manager had specifically instructed her NOT to work on the other project. Honestly, I was stunned. I figured she'd be wrapping things up by 6pm or so. But no. And then she went and told on me to a different manager who was also working late. I'm sure I could've handled things better, but this analyst has consistently missed deadlines and blamed other people (not just me!) when she doesn't get her work done. The work is ok though there are often lots of little problems to correct. I was really upset about the whole thing. And the work still isn't done, though she sent a bunch of it around 2am. I will have to double check everything next week. Super sigh.

And R, the man I was kind of dating. I'm sure you're all curious about that. Well, it's a terrible story too, though this time, at least, not of my doing. So, he was in touch and we'd made a date for last Thursday. But he also wasn't feeling well when he returned. We postponed to Sunday because he wasn't getting better. I sort of figured Sunday might not work out either. He went to the doctor. He went to the emergency room. He had to cancel the date again. I offfered to come by and just keep him company for a bit, but he said no. The next thing I hear, he's in the hospital. That was about a week ago and he's still there. He's in bad shape and the doctors don't know what's wrong with him. I asked to visit--he said thanks but it was really a "no." I've been sending him one text a day and he gives me an update. I write back and that's it.

R's brother came to town to help him out and today I tracked down the brother's email address and offered assistance. He thanked me but said he had it covered and that R would be in touch when he got home. Well, that's fine--but R has been in touch, he just doesn't need anything from me. I accept that, but I thought I had to make the offer just in case R was being super stoic. Or maybe he just doesn't like me? Oh, who cares. I don't know if we'll even see each other again. Hopefully he'll recover and get back to normal, but he won't be the same. It's not about me and I don't care about the dating part--I want to help. I want to be a friend. I've made the offer, which is what I had to do. And that's all I can do. Still, it's kind of crazy.

I can work on being a better manager. I can try and be a friend. I can try and learn my lesson about dating and anxiety. I don't know how much change I can actually accomplish. But I can try and try and keep on trying. Still, I have to say, I'm not the happiest camper.

Grateful for: more perspective.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Good work

Story of my life. I can find a way to turn any situation into an emotional mess.

I'm a little fuzzy today. Last night I hosted a small Seder. I think we drank just enough but I'm moving slow today and I think that's why. The best news I have is that my knee is feeling great.  Barely hurts at all. Most of my really challenging exercises are getting easy. I biked around 15 miles this weekend and I wasn't even sore. I'm feeling very encouraged. Now it's time to pick my exercise habits back up consistently and I think I'll be feeling better and more energetic all around.

On the work front, things are going pretty well. I was getting a little discouraged, but a few kind words from my project director really perked me up. This person tends to be quite negative and I realized it's just her style. When she says something critical it's just her way of expressing herself, and the message isn't that I'm a big screw up. In fact, not at all.

Then again, when it comes to dating, I am sort of a big screw up. So, R. We had that date last weekend. It went about as I expected, including a sleepover. Nothing shocking there. I knew that the following weekend (the weekend just past), he was going out of town. I thought we might have dinner during the week. I also though we would still text but probably not as much.  Turned out I was wrong on both counts. On Sunday, after I settled in at home, I sent him a message and we talked a little bit. He said he was too busy to get together before his trip and that we should "reconnect next week." That threw me and I asked what was up. He was busy, that was all.

Then I heard nothing from him for two days.  I kind of lost it. I hate, hate, hate getting into that weird funk, but there I was. I've been there enough times to know that it wasn't really about him. Sure, it was kind of shitty for him to completely drop our companionable text habit with essentially no warning. It was also troubling that right at the moment when the desire to maintain some connection would seem expected, it was conspicuously absent.

Nevertheless, despite the negative implications of R's silence, my reaction was way over sized. I knew it yet felt helpless. I dropped down into a deep pit of misery and despair for those two days. Of course, finally, I broke the silence. I was managing myself ok at work, I had friends who were listening to me and providing a mixture of sympathy (Amanda) and tough love (Nancy). It helped a lot and I'm super grateful at my low points that I have friends who will step up and talk me through--even though they've done it for me more times than I can count and it must be getting tiresome. But I didn't want to spend another painful day wondering and worrying about...um what exactly? I needed to release the pressure.

Anyway, I sent R a text late on that second day and our conversation was mostly ok until it wasn't exactly ok. I would say that I went just over the line in what I said. My first salvo was an emoticon with a half frown. The response to that was "it must seem like I've dropped off the face of the earth." Ya think? I replied that I was hurt and confused, but he didn't understand why (maybe because you dropped off the face of the earth?). He seemed to think that our limited acquaintance (a week of chatting and two dates) didn't merit any concern over two days of silence. That was a neat way to sum it up (mine would be more like 10 days of constant contact, sleeping together, then total silence). I think you can see our disjuncture! I tried to convey my perspective, my despair at making to much of it, and my frustration. He sympathized a little then said we should talk the next day because it was getting late. And so we did.

The conversation the next day was interesting. Before we talked I was pretty sure I was done with him. I knew I'd overreacted and I sort of understood why (mostly a fear of abandonment, which had very little to do with R given our short acquaintance), but I was still put off by his attitude. He sent me a text where he said I "wigged out" and that we should be able to go two days without contact. I asked to talk on the phone instead of text, and so we did.  When we spoke, I started by saying that in the grand scheme of things, going days without contact wasn't a problem. That I knew my reaction was disproportionate. But that I didn't understand how he could just disappear and not realize it was kind of a big deal.  

He was frustrated and said he'd apologized. He was sorry for disappointing me (is that an actual apology?). That he didn't like my reaction and we should be able to go two days without texting (already granted!). He wondered if the problem wasn't the no contact but not letting me know to expect it? I agreed that was part of the problem.

Then he started talking about when we would see each other again and how our next date shouldn't include a sleepover.  That kind of stumped me because I thought we were done. I'd been so sure when we started the conversation that he wasn't right for me. I was still really confused by his behavior.  Up to the point of his silence, all the messages were clearly relationship bound--not a clever come on to persuade me to spend the night (which, by the way, was totally unnecessary). I thought I knew the terms of our engagement--and then they switched all around. Look, he can change his mind. It may be (still) that he lost some interest after getting to know me better--fair enough. But that didn't seem to be at all what he was saying when we talked. More that he doesn't really know how to modulate his speed. I'm not sure. We left things sort of open, though he suggested a specific activity and day for our next date.

Over the last few days, we've had very sparse communication. I sent him a couple of very short texts--a couple of times just a photo.  He initiated contact a couple of times. We didn't talk at all on Sunday (no, I didn't "wig out"). He got in touch on Monday. We confirmed our plans for this week. Our contact is friendly but decidedly more low key than before.  I don't know how I feel about him. I'm almost reluctant to go out with him this week--but I know I would be disappointed if he were to cancel. I will try and look at him with fresh eyes and figure out if I like him enough to bother with any of this.  Wait and see.

Grateful for: good, supportive friends. Oh, and having boy problems for a change!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Working weekend

I was going to write a new post today and maybe I still will--but when I opened up the folder, I found this never published draft about a prodcutive Saturday a couple of weeks ago. Seems like I was doing pretty well, doesn't it?

 

March 22, 2014

Things go much better for me when I get up early. Yesterday, I was so good. I had to work (per usual)...a note on this. Pretty much always having things to do on the weekend is getting old. I'm not happy about it. I still like the job but I can tell this is going to be a problem. I'm going to have to draw the line more clearly and stop doing so much so that it's not expected of me. Anyway, in order to work this weekend, I knew I had to get out of the house. I was on the move before 9am. I rode my bike and found a good spot at one of my favorite coffee shops. I had coffee and breakfast and was semi-productive. The next stop was a shop to look for yarn. This is a shop that carries scraps and operates as a non-profit. One of my knitting friends helps operate it and I thought I'd check it out. Up the road I biked--there was actually a trail for about 80% of the ride, which was nice.

When I arrived at 11:30 it was closed. I figured I'd find another coffee shop nearby and squeeze in a little work. In fact there were no coffee shops in the immediate vicinity...but I found something a couple miles away. I jumped back on the bike and found my way there. I got a decent ride in since it was a little hilly. The new coffee place only had brewed coffee but I got a small, sat in the window, and did some more work.

I went back to the shop and didn't find any yarn, but it's an interesting place.

From there, I went to a third place. Not a coffee shop this time, but Union Market, which has coffee and much more. It's quite close to my house and usually not that crowded. It has some decent food options and an excellent coffee place. But by the time I got there, around 1:30, it was mobbed. Lots of families with little kids and big groups of young people. I had a really hard time finding a place to sit. I found free tables that had no chairs--and no one was willing to share. I was really hungry and had gotten some food, but there I was doing a huge circut of that vast place and finding no where to sit. I got mighty grumpy. Eventually I found a table, then I found a chair. I put them together and sat down and ate my lunch. And I kept working I was timing the work and total was about 4.5 hours. That's nuts. The total bike mileage was about 10! That surprised me. At least I was able to combine the two things I needed to do--get some exercise and do some work.

And my productivity didn't end there. When I got home, I started work knitting a hedgehoge for Pele's daughter. I've been meaning to knit her one for ages. I also did some laundry and some dishes. I made the bed. What a day. I'd say it was a total social bust, but when I was retrieving my bike at Union Market, I struck up a conversation about bikes with a fellow unlocking his bike. He had a girlfriend (he mentioned her in passing), but it was a good chat and I got home feeling happy and satisfied.

Grateful for: a satisfying life.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

The point

How about that dating then? I did cancel my membership on the free site. But I was still going online, just using a different venue--a phone app.  It works a lot differently and, so far, I prefer it. Sure, I've run into creeps, but somehow it's easier to disengage. Overall, it's been pretty interesting and I've had several good text-chats.  I've also had four dates with four different guys. Four first dates. I wrote about one of those dates back at the end of January. It took a while for the next date to happen--about a week ago. The last two happened this week, back to back on Wednesday and Thursday.

One of those is promising. What a strange feeling to have! I actually want to go out on a second date with him and I think we may even have a third date. Not to get too far ahead of myself, of course, since we haven't had the second date yet, though it is in the works.

The whole thing has been interesting. Also, I didn't think I wanted to write about it. In a lot of ways I don't, but I can't settle down. I'm feeling a little restless, a bit impatient. Normal for me when I like someone. I don't like him in that complete madness way, where I'm checking the phone every five minutes or I'm composing and not sending emails or texts and torturing myself about it. I'd be lying if I said I were perfectly calm. Not at all. But I'm not a complete mess.

Anyway, this is what the blog is for--my chance to process.  I met the two fellows I had dates with this week online about the same time. With R, we made plans pretty quickly--in fact, during our very first chat. I was going to NJ for the weekend, so we made a date for when I returned. And every day since then, including while I was out of town, we wrote back and forth. The rapport was easy and conversational. We slowly learned about each other's lives and I fussed a little about the frustrations of my family visit. It was always friendly but not overly intimate. He was actually my support system that weekend--I often feel alone during big family gatherings since I'm the only single person, except for the kids. While I prefer to hang out with the kids, that wasn't an option this time. I liked R better and better the whole time. But I was worried about reality living up to whatever expectations I was building.

The other fellow, S, only texted a few times, but it was friendly and we also made plans. I actually thought I was supposed to meet him before my trip, but we had a misunderstanding. We cleared it up and made a plan to meet the day after I had my date with R. S works where I used to work, which freaked me out a bit. I was sure I'd seen him around, but we definitely hadn't met before.

I drove back from NJ with Spesh (Israeli friend), per a previous plan. I talked to R about that too--even though it wasn't meant to be any kind of test, R didn't show any signs of jealousy or question that I was having a male house guest. This is a good sign--I can't tell you how many guys get squirmy when they learn I have a close male friend who is a house guest. "Is he your ex? What kind of visit is it?" Etc. But he had no business asking those kinds of questions.  That's the thing about R--he's so reasonable. Like a real, normal, non-weirdo type person. In fact, due to Spesh business, we had to move our date one day later--and it was even R's suggestion. He was gracious about it.

Maybe this isn't an aside, I don't know, but as usual when Spesh visits, I managed to really lose it one day. I got very upset and angry about the way he handled some of the plans for his time here. That's always ostensibly what it's about. I talked to a friend about it and she said "it sounds like you're not getting what you want from that relationship." Well, yes, I think I knew that but hearing her say it out loud helped a little. I've been turning that phrase over in my mind ever since. My relationship with Spesh is something that I've just learned to accept over the years. He's like another brother and while I may get angry at him, we're not going to stop being friends. I wish I could handle my shit a little better though. This incident (it was so stupid, I don't even want to get into the details) had me pretty shaken up and emotional. Teary, even. And I was still on that edge the next day going right into my date with R! Work is also stressful and I was just hoping I could get in a happier place so that the date would have a chance to be pleasant.

R picked the place for us to meet. I was late mostly due to metro (blasted red line!), but he was not irritated. Our date went well. I was nervous. I talked a lot. Maybe not too much. We ate a little but mostly drank, which was fine by me.  We left the first place, walked a little bit, and had a drink at a second place. We talked and he told me some of his story. It was good, I was happy to be with him. I was nervous and comfortable all at the same time. He walked me to the metro and started to say something about meeting again. We were standing face to face--and I looked into his eyes and kissed him.  Total impulse. I think it took him by surprise. Maybe it took me by surprise a little too. So we just stood there, talking and kissing a little bit, slowly saying goodnight.

I finally got on the train and we texted all the way home until I went to bed. I do wonder a bit about all the texting. I like it, sure, but can it go on like this indefinitely? Will I be disappointed when it slows down? Will it matter? I do like to find things to worry about!

Then, on the way home, I realized I had a date with S the next night! Every instinct was to cancel. Not that I had any certainty about things with R, but I had lost any interest in going out on dates with other people. Yet, I didn't have a legit reason to cancel with S and in fact, I think we'd made plans before I even started talking to R. I kept the date with S.  It wasn't the easiest thing I'd ever done. I tried to be open to liking S. And in a way, it was a test of my feelings for R.  As it often happens, as soon as I got a look at S I knew it was not going to work. He wasn't bad looking but he wasn't for me. He also had a bit of a negativity about him and a tendency to contradict things I said. Not that he had to agree with me--but it was annoying. I don't think I would have been interested him under any circumstances, but under these it was very clear that I wasn't.  Still, we had an ok time. I tried to stay positive and contribute to the conversation. For once, I didn't talk like a maniac, which I sometimes do to cover awkward silences. I just let there be some silences and then one of us would find something to say. We took a little walk at the end of the date, which was nice. He told me I had some interesting stories and that he wanted to take me on a hike (funny, so does R).  We said goodbye and I got on the train. Then R texted. Ha ha! Perfect timing, right?

I haven't told R about the date with S but I probably will.  The next day S texted that it was nice to meet me and that we should touch base after his vacation. I said it was nice to meet him too and I wished him a good trip. I hope he doesn't contact me again, but you never know.

R and I have plans for today--we're going on a short hike in town (more a nature walk, I think) and then he's cooking me dinner. You know it's on.

Grateful for: meeting someone I really like.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Wow

So, I did the stupid thing—the wrong thing. I won’t do it again. I know it was wrong and quite possibly a mistake, but I think I can live with myself and I also learned something. I have a better sense of why I’m drawn to doomed situations.  Maybe. Let’s see if I can remember. (The lesson: doomed relationships have a timetable, thus an element of certainty. The thing that usually precipitates my anxiety in relationships is the uncertainty. So, perhaps, even if the certainty is negative, it's better than nothing? I don't know if this is explains my actions or not, but it's a thought.)

Speaking of doom, I had the most infuriating conversation ever with a dude on the free dating site. I had one date with this fellow over a year ago.  When I first met him, I thought he looked ok, but as our conversation progressed, I was less and less attracted. He wasn’t super aggressive, but he did seem to think I should take him home. And short of that, we should meet again so I could take him home then. I didn’t take him home and when he asked me out again, I declined.  A few months ago, he got in touch with me again and he was sort of obnoxious about my continued presence on the site. I didn’t really get it. We had a conversation about why I didn’t want to go out with him. I tried to soft peddle it but eventually I came right out and said I didn't find him attractive. Then he said something about how I had no reason not to be attracted to him. I was puzzled. Since when does one need a reason not to find someone attractive?  That conversation ended, but he approached me again the other day and we had almost the same exchange.  This time, I thought I’d share it with you because his attitude is truly astonishing.

He said something like, “oh, you’re still here.” I asked him why he said that…

Dude:  Just ironic that you and I could of had some sensual erotic times yet you refuse. Out of spite really

Me:      I don’t know why you think it’s out of spite. I wasn’t attracted to you. Am I supposed to be grateful that you were willing?  That’s not how it works.

Dude:  You have no reason not to be attracted to me.

Me:      Why do I need a reason?

Dude:  Then it’s just out of spite.

Me:      So if a woman doesn’t find you attractive, it’s out of spite? What is the source of my spite exactly?

Dude:  You tell me, it’s your spite.

(Points to dude for perfect grammar and spelling!)

After that, I decided to work some of my management jujitsu. Ok, not really, but I’m trying to look at all encounters where the other party seems glaringly, obviously wrong and tease out my part of the problem. I’m actively trying to diffuse these situations, take responsibility for my actions, thank the other person for their input and apologize, as appropriate. So, that’s why I didn’t just say “fuck you” and end the conversation.  I wasn’t subtle or particularly kind, but I tried to stay calm.

Me:      Any ill feeling I have now is about the snide tone you’ve taken with me.  For me, when we met, I wasn’t feeling it. If you need to call that spite then you do what you need to do. I’m going to stop now because this is making me feel bad. I wish you the best.

He didn’t write back. I blocked him the next day, just in case.

Talking to a fellow recently, I said, "there's something wrong with me." I can't say that this story is anything but a confirmation of that. I'm also thinking I need to cancel my membership on the site, at least for a while. If I stay on there, I'm going to keep getting pulled back in to this nonsense and it's exhausting. I'm getting precious few dates and none of them have boyfriend potential.  Maybe it's better to remove the temptation.

Grateful for: tiny insights.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Stupid

I'm facing a serious temptation to do something very stupid. Or maybe just wrong. Or maybe it's stupid because it's wrong. But how do I overrule my desires? I'm generally not an impetuous person. I have a PhD after all, which is basically an exercise in delayed gratification. I told myself I could exit after the MA, but in my heart I knew that would never happen. I was going to finish what I started. It took a long time, it didn't make me very happy, but I got it done.

Have you heard the reports about those studies where they put a marshmallow in front of a little kid and tell them that if they wait a few minutes to eat it, they can have TWO marshmallows? The kids came up with all kinds of strategies to avoid eating them. They sang to themselves, turned their backs to the marshmallow, pretended it was a picture--but some kids couldn't wait and ate it anyway. I wondered which kind of kid I was so I asked my mother. She said with no hesitation that I would've waited. That felt right. I was all about maximizing the amount of candy available and if that meant I had to wait five minutes to get more candy, I would've waited.

Given my capacity for restraint, why, in my personal life, do I so often fling myself headlong into situations that are completely doomed? Sometimes I've enjoyed these situations. Other times I've deeply regretted my actions. I've also gotten my heart broken more than once. I am more resilient these days and I can see more clearly where the problems lay. And yet, I want to venture once more into this doomed arena. I want to feel those feelings.  Maybe that's it? The doomed but passionate romance of my role models playing out over and over again on a much smaller scale? Ugh.  Am I really that stupid?


Right now, the urge to say no is very strong. I want to jump off that cliff and damn the consequences. But...maybe I can wait. Maybe I can just slow this train down a little. And maybe if I can manage that, it will allow some time for reason to catch up with passion. But even if it doesn't, I know I'll survive.

Grateful for: the tiniest bit of self control.

PS You may have glimpsed very briefly another version of this post where I say I'd lost the content. I did lose it in ScribeFire (we're done!), but I forgot that I cut and paste the content into Word to do a spell check. Whew!